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review 2016-06-30 17:27
Holy crap!!! If you love THIRDS you need to read this book...
Smoke & Mirrors - Charlie Cochet

So first he did...and then that happened...while they went...and then someone said...and they found...and he was...while no one knew...then they discovered...and he took...and that made him so angry that he...and everyone was...while he was so hurt and couldn't...and they all had to...silly kitten, of course I'm not really going to tell you what happened, where's the fun in that...but...


I will tell you how amazing this book was and that if you want to read this one and truly appreciate how awesome it is in the scheme of things you absolutely have to read the first 6 books in this series there's just no other way to do it...ok, there are the audio books but still it's the same end result. No matter how you look at it, 'Smoke & Mirrors' is not a standalone story. What it really is, is the story that fills in a lot of the blanks. It's the missing link so to speak. 


If you happened to read my review of the last book 'Catch a Tiger by the Tail' or probably that of more than a few other people who read book 6 in this series than you know we were left hanging onto one hella' scary cliff by our fingertips. Thankfully Ms Cochet picked up with this book right where 'Catch a Tiger by the Tail' left off but where she took us from there was on an incredible journey of adventure and discovery.


Throughout this series there have been so many questions that have been leading to this story. Questions about Dex's parents, about the first gen recruitment center, the recruits themselves and first gen purebred Therians, etc., etc. and while I'm sure we by no means have all the answers 'Smoke & Mirrors' definitely took a huge step in the direction of giving us answers, but, not all of these answers were easy for our MCs to deal with. Boundaries were pushed, relationships were tested, things weren't always what they appeared to be and when everything was said and done some things were never going to be the same again. But different is a word with a very fluid meaning. It can mean different as in for the worse or different for the better or maybe, just different as in not the same as it was. 


I have enjoyed this series so much each book has been a fantastic story filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, love and passion making it really hard for me to choose a favorite. I do however, feel that 'Smoke & Mirrors' has become one of the most integral books in the series because of all the connections from the past and going forward that it brings together. For me this book feels like a turning point in this series and while I'm not exactly sure what direction Ms Cochet is going to take the series in I do know I'm definitely going to follow. 



An ARC of Smoke & Mirrors was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2015-08-08 17:17
Ooooh YEAH!!!! I'm a THIRDS Nerd!
Against the Grain - Charlie Cochet

I totally squirreled when I saw this one. I'm suppose to be reading 'A Little Life' I promised a friend I would get to it very soon. But...come on, it's THIRDS and there's just no way I could wait so I didn't.


I love this series. I'm not really going to say a whole lot here because if you go to GR there's all kinds of awesome reviews for this book. I will say this is a series that you need to read in order to really get the most enjoyment from it. So far the main couple in the series has  been Sloane and Dex, so it was nice to have a little change of pace and not only see some progress made in the relationship department between Cael (who is Dex's brother) and Ash (Sloane's best friend) but to also find out a little more about these two men.


Sparks was also a pleasant surprise. I think I might end up liking her or possibly I might like hating her or hate liking her. I'm still not sure on that one. But, she's interesting and I think her presence is going to add to the storyline in future. Last but not least for me is Austen. I love this character and I've diligently got my fingers crossed for more of him and from the look of the authors writing schedule I'm going to have to keep my fingers crossed until 2017. Damn. I hope they don't cramp too much. Oh well, at least I'll have some more THIRDS novels between now and then to keep me going.

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review 2013-04-17 00:00
Charmed Thirds - Megan McCafferty Rating: 4.5 StarsWhen you finish a Jessica Darling novel, there is only one thing to say: "OMIGAWD" (Or, you know, quote oh my gawd! unquote).Whether it be after Sloppy Firsts when that heart-breaking cliffhanger just makes you want to rip your hair out. Or after Second Helpings after Jessica and Marcus finally, finally, finally get together. Or after Charmed Thirds when you are simply unable to digest the sheer magnitude, truth, and scope of one book, four years, and so many journeys. Quite honestly, I picked up Charmed Thirds more skeptic than excited. After two such poignant Jessica Darling books, I wasn't quite sure if the college years would live up to be just as powerful as the high school years had proven to be, especially as I have yet to experience college for myself. With Jessica Darling, so much of the punch is in the nostalgia, in the experiences long forgotten but still so pivotal and important to growth. Surprisingly, though, Jessica's thoughts in Charmed Thirds continue to mirror my own, even where her experiences are so different from mine. It seems almost strange now that I ever imagined that Jessica and I would be unable to relate to one another just because she went off to college while I'm still slaving my way through high school. Yet, Megan McCafferty continues to prove what I always suspected: Jessica Darling is timeless. Of all the Jessica Darling books, Charmed Thirds is easily the most messy of the lot. Not only is its format slightly different in that Jessica journals only rarely, skipping months altogether, but also in that this novel expanses an entire four years of Jessica's own life. In parts, it almost feels a little jarring to see Jessica remain the same from one month to a month five months down the road and yet, her growth is forever. Where the previous two Jessica Darling books chronicled every single slight detail about high school, from the people to the teachers to the homework assignments, Charmed Thirds has little to do in way of teachers and students. Instead, it is a deeper, more introspective look at Jessica's own college experience - her struggles to find a job, her stress at discovering her major isn't what she thought it would be, her ever-changing relationship with the elusive Marcus Flutie, and most of all, the crazy experiences she undertakes in trying to find herself. And while I may not agree with everything Jessica chose to do (and know for a fact that I will NOT be making many of the mistakes she made), these years are a true testament to just how difficult it is to find who you are and what you want from life. Jessica remains to be as witty and intelligent as ever, her insights both monumental and increasingly silly when it comes to the opposite sex. And, best of all, one of my favorite themes is still present in this series - that of impact. Just the fact that Marcus and Hope remain so important to Jessica while simultaneously being the people most apart from her continues to be such a realistic theme in this series. While Jessica and Marcus' relationship has its ups-and-downs, so does the one between Jessica and Hope. And yet, while Jessica is out feeling guilty, passionate, regretful, and everything-but-happy, the other people in Jessica's life provide us with immense insight into the college experiences of other people. Whether it be Bridget, whose relationship is a model of perfection, or Hope, who manages to achieve so much from her college years, or even Marcus, who finally finds who he is after years of misbehavior, not everyone's experience is like Jessica's. And yet, hers is by far the most realistic, messy, and poignant by the end. Perhaps best of all, though, is the mere fact that Jessica comes to learn more about her parents, her sister, her niece, her boyfriend, her school friends... Where before they faded into the background of Jessica's story as her journal entries were filled with increasingly anxious remarks about Marcus or high school or college, now her journals become an insight into the people who have made her, molded her, and continue to do so. What I love best about Jessica is that she thinks she has everything figured out, but she truly doesn't. By the end of Second Helpings, Jessica seems to be a self-confident individual, ready to tackle on everything the world has to offer, but she could not be further from the truth. With college comes an exposure to entirely different people and the shocking truth that contrary to popular belief, Jessica does not know what she's doing with her life. And that is okay. Easily the best part about these novels is the plain truth that it is perfectly normal to not know where you want to go in life. And while we all know this, Jessica included, coming to really know it is an entirely different journey altogether. Charmed Thirds is a collection of stories. While it is predominantly Jessica's story herself, it encompasses so much more, tackling on the world in entirely new and insightful ways. Although my review itself is conspicuously romance-free, Jessica's love story continues to be as messy and delightful as it always was, not to mention shockingly realistic. (You will cry. You will scream. You will often find yourself telling Jessica, "NO! NO! NO!" to no avail. And yet, you will love it. Just trust me on this one, okay?). All in all, Charmed Thirds has shaped up to be the most unforgettable of all the books in this series so far and I cannot wait to see where the adult years continue to take Jessica. You can read this review" and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.
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review 2013-01-27 00:00
Charmed Thirds - Megan McCafferty Wow.Wow.Wow.I must say that Jessica Darling series continues to amaze me with every new book I read. This third instalment has surprised me very very much. Although I was expecting to like it, I wasn't expecting to like it as much as the second book. And guess what? Yup. I do think that this book is, if not better, than as good as [b:Second Helpings|199687|Second Helpings (Jessica Darling, #2)|Megan McCafferty|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320531276s/199687.jpg|2975812]. It was a roller coaster of emotions, from the beginning to the end. It seemed that I was actually Jessica and I was going through the routine as her, not with her. I was devastated with the bad moments she lived and ecstatic with the good ones. These books are continuously touching my heart. They tug at my emotions ruthlessly. I can really relate with these books - they have this tendency to become strangely realistic. I can really associate with the characters and all the problems that they have to face. I guess it's save to say that I do start to love this series. (Let's just hope that I can say the same when I finish reading the last two books.) P.S: I wasn't sure about the rating of this one but the 5 stars are deserved.Really, really - I want more:
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review 2012-02-01 00:00
Charmed Thirds - Megan McCafferty Midway last year I read a series of books with one Ruby Oliver. One book after another, I found that I could not get enough of how quirky, different, damaged she was. Jessica has a little of Ruby in her. Both are funny, snarky, smart. The big difference is how aware Jessica could be over things of little moment. It’s her keen observations and snarky commentary that had me going through Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings in a blink. In both, she’s inappropriate and sometimes crude; but true and honest as to what she saw/felt. The biggest negative to her is that while she Jessica’s work is truthful and funny, she’s also shallow given her lack of experience. This third installment remedies that last bit (a little.)And Jessica, do you know what? I got why you did most of the things you did. That move you pulled with the ring? I was with you there. Those months with Kieran? I was with you there too. And when you obsessed over the older Spanish grad student? I got that too. I was with you on most every step of the way. And on the rare instance that you weren’t worrying over the state of you finances, I nodded along on things you were spouting. But come on! That ending?! I still don’t get it. (Ha. I may not be blindly romantic after all.)3
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